Protect the Not-For-Profit Delivery of Community Support Services in Ontario
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Dear Premier Wynne and Minister Hoskins,
October is Community Support Month, an opportunity to celebrate the home and community care services which help over a million Ontarians, including seniors and people with disabilities, live independently in their own homes.
Over 25 different community support services are provided by hundreds of charities and not-for-profit agencies across the province. Services include personal care and home help, Meals on Wheels, Alzheimer and adult day programs, transportation to medical appointments, friendly visiting, caregiver support, hospice and palliative care services, and much more.
It's a successful model because clients prefer to live in their own homes and communities, and supporting them to do so reduces costs to other parts of the health care system.
Agencies receive partial government funding, but are also supported by community foundations, individual donations and thousands of dedicated volunteers.
The Ontario government is considering changes which might allow for-profit companies to receive government funding to provide community support services. This would be harmful to non-profit agencies, clients and caregivers, and the communities they serve.
- Community support volunteers donate over 3.5 million hours of service each year, which would be lost in a for-profit model.
- Not-for-profit community support agencies re-invest surplus funds into providing more and better care, ensuring funding stays in the community and that service quality is never compromised in order to increase profits.
- Charities and not-for-profits are governed by volunteer Boards of Directors, and accountable to communities they serve. They are able to respond to local needs.
- Not-for-profit community support agencies go “beyond the basics” and serve as community hubs, where clients are able to connect to a number of care and social services in one convenient location.
As the government has recognized, strong home and community care is crucial as the population ages and grows. Therefore, rather than considering changing to a for-profit model, we call on the government to protect, support and strengthen not-for-profit care.
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